Kaarina Nikunen

Professor, Communication and Media Research
Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences
| Sub unit: Communication Sciences
Kaarina Nikunen

About me

My research explores the ways in which media construct understanding of the world and possibilities of participation: social justice and solidarity are important concepts in my work. I am particularly interested in the ways in which emotions and affect drive solidarity, social movements and participation – and the way emotions are crafted through and with media. This work comes together in my recent book Media Solidarities: Emotions, Power and Justice in the Digital Age (Sage, 2019). My current research focuses on questions data and inequalities that I explore in two projects: Fair Data and IDA (Intimacy in Data Driven Culture). Fair Data project explores datafied media environment and its implications on public participation. It explores fair data visions and practices in media industries and among citizens. It is part of BIBU (Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation) research funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland. IDA explores explores the ways in which digitalization and datafication affect and shape private, social, occupational, and collective lives and everyday experiences. I am also co-leading a Nordic research network Datafication, Data Inequalities and Data Justice.

My previous research projects focused on issues of racism, emotions and migration in digital media: HYBRA: racism and public communication in the hybrid media system (2016-2019) explored rise of anti-immigrant and racist discourse on social media with politics of irony. Information and emotions in the refugee debate (2016-2018) examined emotional structures and dynamics of the so called refugee crisis in 2015 with computational, qualitative and ethnographic methods. In Structures of Compassion -project I conducted ethnographic research on European refugee politics, geographic imagination and politics of place in the Mediterranean coast, in Southern Italy as well as on affective economy of humanitarian reality shows and journalism of hospitality.

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